Cannabis dampens the effects of music in brain regions sensitive to reward and emotion
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Oxford University Press (OUP) for Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Despite the current shift towards permissive cannabis policies, few studies have investigated the pleasurable effects users seek. Here we investigate the effects of cannabis on listening to music - a rewarding activity that frequently occurs in the context of recreational cannabis use. We additionally tested how these effects are influenced by cannabidiol (CBD), which may offset cannabis-related harms. Methods: Across three sessions, sixteen cannabis users inhaled cannabis with CBD, cannabis without CBD, and placebo. We compared their response to music relative to control excerpts of scrambled sound during functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) within regions identified in a meta-analysis of music-evoked reward and emotion. All results were False Discovery Rate corrected (p<0.05). Results: Compared to placebo, cannabis without CBD dampened response to music in bilateral auditory cortex (right: p=0.005, left: p=0.008), right hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus (p=0.025), right amygdala (p=0.025) and right ventral striatum (p=0.033). Across all sessions, the effects of music in this ventral striatal region correlated with pleasure ratings (p=0.002) and increased functional connectivity with auditory cortex (right: p=0.000, left: p=0.000), supporting its involvement in music reward. Functional connectivity between right ventral striatum and auditory cortex was increased by CBD (right: p=0.003, left: p=0.030), and cannabis with CBD did not differ from placebo on any fMRI measures. Both types of cannabis increased ratings of wanting to listen to music (p<0.002) and enhanced sound perception (p<0.001). Conclusions: Cannabis dampens the effects of music in brain regions sensitive to reward and emotion. These effects were offset by a key cannabis constituent, cannabidol.
T.P.F. was funded by the UK Medical Research Council and a Senior Academic Fellowship from the Society for the Study of Addiction. This study was funded by Drug Science/Channel 4 television.
This is the final version of the article. Available from OUP via the DOI in this record.
Published online 2 September 2017
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